Tag: John Andrews
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The arithmetic of buying at auction can furrow the brow. Recently I bought a late 17th-century walnut and elm chest of drawers 39 inches wide from a West Country firm of auctioneers. I bid for it by telephone. The photograph in the catalogue and on the internet showed a handsome chest of four mitred-panel drawers and bobbined mouldings, with small damage to the top edge moulding and other minor blemishes. The estimate was £500-£600. On auction day the telephone call came in good time, the bidding started at £400, and by the time I had run it up to £500, it stopped. The chest was mine for that hammer price.
Buyer’s premium of 19.5% and VAT took the cost up to £617. I now had to get the chest some 200… View the full post
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This summer has seen more price records being broken by eager collectors. The famous and the fortunate chased enthusiastically after the exclusive and the exotic. It is a tribute to dealers, auctioneers and agents that the quality and range of fine things presented for sale is still so good. Whether it was at Olympia, Art Antiques London, Masterpiece, or smaller venues, or at auction, the rare and original shone brightly, with auctions grabbing the top spots in tussles for acquisition at new levels of expense. The upper reaches of domestic possession went to extremes. Most of us own a book, a car and a painting of some sort, but a first edition of Poirot stories by Agatha Christie fetched £34,000 at Dominic Winter’s, the single seat blower Bentley of Tim… View the full post
The financial clouds gathering over the southern Eurozone, lit by flashes of citizen protest and rumbling with political thunder, loom on the summer horizon like an oppressive and threatening storm. Contradiction and paradox abound. Forecasts range from the ruinous to the reassuring, reminding one that no forecast is ever exactly right except by chance. During these Jubilee, Antique Exhibition and Olympic days I have seen advice to sell everything, including my house, in order to acquire cash; alternatively to acquire more of everything, including houses and even antiques, but not cash, especially not Euros. It reminds me that, during the economic crises of the Wilson-Callaghan era, some pundits said that housing would never be a good investment ever again, whilst others refuted the suggestion. In the meantime, most houses continued to rise in price because, in a corollary of Mark… View the full post
[gn_frame align="left"][/gn_frame]This month the high water mark for antiques is enhanced by the Diamond Jubilee celebrations being held to honour the Queen. The celebrations are varied and widespread, anticipating that further public attention will be diverted to the Olympic Games, which start in July. From the point of view of this magazine, we have not imposed a special Jubilee issue on our subscribers, who will find other Jubilee material abundantly available, but we do have an article appropriate to this month in Clare Durham’s ‘Royal Commemorative Ceramics’. Doubtless in future years there will be many things collected as commemorative of this year, with Diamond Jubilee mementoes treasured in the way that those for Victoria have been, too.
The high water mentioned above is largely one on which distinguished fairs float at levels more elevated than those achieved during the rest of the year, especially in the capital. We have devoted space… View the full post